Islamabad, 24 November 2022 (TDI): The Women’s Parliamentary Caucus (WPC) in collaboration with the Pakistan Institute for Parliamentary Studies (PIPS) hosted a ‘National Conference of Women Parliamentary Caucus’, today.

The aim of the conference is to promote the meaningful role of Women Parliamentarians in peace-building & sustainable development. WPC is a non-partisan informal forum for women parliamentarians of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

The National Conference comprised two break sessions. The agenda of the first session was “Confronting Biases for Inclusive Democratic Processes: Creating Spaces for Substantive Role of Women Parliamentarians”.

Former Secretaries of Federal WPC, as well as Members of the National Assembly and the German Ambassador to Pakistan, addressed this session.

Whilst in the second session, the members of the Provincial Assemblies delivered speeches on the “Role of Women Parliamentarians in Securing Peace and Social Cohesion.”

National Assembly Speaker, Raja Pervez Ashraf graced the event as Chief Guest. While speaking to the participants, he underscored that a person who does not know how to respect a woman does not deserve to be called a respectable person.

Secretary of the WPC, MNA Dr. Syeda Shahida Rehmani welcomed the participants of the conference. In her opening remarks, she highlighted the extensive role played by women parliamentarians in the development of Pakistan.

Shahida Rehmani welcomed all the participants and stressed that the conference will promote coordination, engagement, and information sharing amongst all WPCs through its “National Coordination Forum.”

She highlighted that “WPC is working as a cross-party forum to ensure that women Parliamentarians across party affiliations are contributing to strengthening inclusive democratic values that result in sustainable development in the country.”

While the President of the Resilient Women Network, MNA Aasiya Nasir in her remarks stated that the women parliamentarians are the ones who introduced most House business.

Likewise, they do more women & children-oriented legislation but need more support & recognition to perform their work even better.

She further enunciated the significant role of women parliamentarians in policy intervention to promote women’s rights & enhance their participation in the socio-economic development of the country.

The Ambassador of Germany to Pakistan, Alfred Grannas also attended the event as the guest of honor. While talking to the participants he expressed that “Germany supports women empowerment as their inclusion & participation in decision making.

He went on to say that “it is essential for sustainable development & building peaceful societies. Equal voice creates opportunities for equality.”

The former Secretary of the WPC also addressed the attendees during the conference. She acknowledged the invaluable contribution of women to Pakistan’s progress.

Along these lines, she also highlighted the active role of women parliamentarians in legalization and stressed women’s participation in all spheres of life.

Moreover, she highlighted WPC works on the principle of issue-based affiliations. She also shared that presence of women in public spaces & decision-making process is limited.

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In addition, she proposed more women’s platforms, mainly a Women’s Ministry
Financial support/package for women.

Members of the Senate of Pakistan, the National Assembly, and all four Provincial Assemblies including the members of Legislative Assemblies of Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan participated in the Conference.